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Foreign Exchange

Lee Oliver's Christmas quiz

As it’s nearly Christmas or, if you want me to be unusually politically correct, the ‘holiday season’, I thought I’d run a little competition.

Blowing my own trumpet

This is the last column I write in 2006 and I thought I’d lead off with a great e-mail I received from a Danish reader last week.

“I enjoy your column very much, since you display a wonderful cynicism and scepticism about market talk and rumours. I share those sentiments very much, but then I have also been in this market far too long (22 years),” he wrote.

I have to say that most of us are swift to provide negative feedback. Luckily perhaps, this has not been the case with the Weekly FiX. Sure, there’s been the odd moan and groan, but generally the response has been good.

My Danish reader went on to suggest a plausible explanation of why the dollar weakened from mid-November.

“It seems that it was local intervention in Korea (KRW) and Singapore (SGD) which started it all. When they were done buying USD against their local currencies, the two central banks naturally needed to rebalance their reserves, where their dollar holdings now exceeded the desired percentage. So they went into the market and bought euro versus the dollar and sold dollars against the yen... the sight of Asian central banks selling dollars at those levels panicked people...

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